Invisalign Drops Case Requirements for Dentists

Invisalign drops requirement of 10 cases per year for dentistsDentists reacted with anger to Invisalign’s announcement that dentists would only be able to offer the clear aligners if they started at least 10 cases per year.

Well, Invisalign has taken note of dentist objections, removing the 10 cases per year requirement.

Invisalign dentists will still be required to complete at least 10 hours of Invisalign-related continuing education each year. Here’s the official announcement from Align:

“Align Technology, Inc. today announced a strategic change to the Invisalign proficiency program the Company launched last June to help ensure Invisalign providers build a baseline of Invisalign product experience and knowledge through minimum annual case and continuing education (CE) goals. Effective immediately, doctors will no longer be required to start a minimum of ten shipped cases per year to maintain their active provider status. Doctors are still required to complete a minimum of ten Invisalign continuing education (CE) hours per year.”

Invisalign News (April 22, 2010)

When we surveyed dentists on Invisalign rules for dentists, they were near-unanimous in criticizing the requirements. In fact, only 17% of doctors surveyed felt the restrictions were valid.

“I am furious that a dental company is seeking to dictate treatment!” objected one dentist.

“The CE requirement is perfectly fine,” offered another. “The 10 cases per year requirement is unprecedented, very disturbing, and just plain wrong. What if I don’t do 10 dentures or dental implants or molar root canals this year? Shame on Invisalign for demeaning our profession in this way.”

Here’s more from Align about the changes to their Invisalign proficiency requirements:

Why is Align dropping the annual case requirement from the proficiency program?

We are responding to our customers’ frustration and unhappiness with the proficiency program. Many customers were upset by the proficiency program, particularly the annual case requirement. The volume of complaint letters has tapered off, but the mood and frustration of our customers has not improved.

In addition, numerous state and national dental organizations and their members oppose the case requirements. These are groups with whom we’ve always had good working relationships, and we don’t want to damage those relationships over this issue.

Many organizations, including the AAO and ADA, have recommended that Align focus on continuing education, rather than case requirements, as a means of encouraging product proficiency. We believe that these organizations will fully support this change regarding the annual case requirement.

Is Align dropping the case requirements because doctors weren’t meeting the requirements? Were case submissions dropping off?

Align is making this change is response to significant customer frustration and concerns regarding the annual case requirements. We’ve been pleased with our financial results over the last few quarters, and have seen positive impact and success among lower volume doctors who became more engaged with Invisalign over the last few months.

Is the change the result of pressure from industry organizations?

Numerous state and national dental organizations oppose the case requirement – these are groups with whom we’ve always had good working relationships. Industry organizations’ opposition to the proficiency program was far more intense than we anticipated. Many organizations, including the AAO and ADA, have recommended that Align focus on continuing dental education, rather than case requirements, as a means of encouraging product proficiency.

We believe that these organizations will fully support this change regarding the annual case requirement.

Proficiency Program – Frequently asked questions

My question is this: Is everything back to normal now? Or has Invisalign created enough ill will among dentists that it will continue to haunt the company?

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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